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A jam submission

picosynthView game page

modular chiptunes
Submitted by notb (@brycebot) — 13 hours, 23 minutes before the deadline

Play game

picosynth's page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score

Ranked from 12 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Please list any pre-made art/music/other assets you used.

How many members in your team?

Team of 1

List your team's social media / website links!

Anything you want to say to players before they play?
arrow keys and hold Z/X to interact

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Interesting tool! I included it in my compilation video series of the Ludum dare 42 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look :)


I really like the concept of an synth that can be freely played with! But I find its learning curve a bit harsh. Even with the instructions, I had difficulties understanding really what was going on. What confused me the most is I think some options enabled by default. Like the random mode and sequential mode: while those are great, having the sounds constantly changing prevented me from analyzing the current setting and understanding what I was actually doing. I think that this issue would not exist if all nodes were constants by default.

But even after figuring everything out, the UI remained a bit messy. Mostly because of branches overlapping on each other. Thus, creating something is fastidious, and toying randomly with everything doesn't give satisfying results either.

However I must admit, it's impressive how it manages to represents so much complexity in a such minimalist way! The tools provides a lot of possibilities, and yet consists only in a series of nodes with numbers, and only 4 modes each. Having no words is as much a problem as it is a strength. And all the issues I've mentioned so far are just natural results of this complexity. This UI has some imperfections (mostly branches and the use of two buttons to trigger a menu), but for what it does, it's incredible!

And in the end, learning it was maybe the most intersting part. As I said, I was first overwhelmed by it. But little by little, I managed to experiment with it, and understood mostly what everything does! Although I'm still not able to create everything I want with it, I'm now able to manipulate it to make some very simple sequences of sounds! And in the end this was a nice experience!

So... I think that what the games needs the most is a tutorial. Having all the complexities and too many options right at the beginning  is really confusing. Maybe unlocking them step by step, with some goals or puzzles (usually I'm not a fan of those, but here I think it could be really satisfying to try to reproduce a sound), could help the player familiarize with the synth, and enjoying the pleasure of mastering a complex tool.

Anyway, it remains a beautiful musical system! Maybe not easy to use, but still really clever.


Hey! I just wanted to let you know that a video of one of my playthrough/reviews is up and you're a part of it!
Take a look here:


This is pretty interesting.  I'm not very versed in modular synth so it was kind of confusing.  Maybe you can add a game aspect to teach people how to use this system and slowly unlock it over time? THat would be really really cool!  I did break it though... oops!

Great work!


I wrote up some more instructions and tried to lay out the nodes more neatly on the screen. Thank you for all the feedback.

As for it not being a game, ironically, you've described exactly how it actually is a game. Except, it's not explicitly telling you to make a certain sound. You have to imagine a sound in your head and the puzzle is realizing it. It's a sandbox game, like Minecraft or something. A space to explore and create within.


Didn't understand even with the added instructions. Maybe a more structured tree rather than the messy structure that it is now might help with visualizing it better.


Very cool little synth, not so much a game though. :)  I could imagine something like this crossed with a puzzle game, trying to achieve certain sounds as a win condition for each level? Not sure if that would work, but it could be interesting to try.


Not really sure what the goal was other than to have multiple sounds playing at once? I created 4 or 5 nodes I believe playing all sorts of chaos in sounds. While neat and innovative to a degree I have no idea what the plan was.


conceptually this is pretty cool... and I've worked with pico, so I can appreciate what it took to get this going... but I'm randomly poking around making random beeps and boops and have no idea what I'm doing.


Tutorial would be really helpful here.